Last year I came across something that made my life so incredibly easy when it came to the technical business of organizing paperwork for our horses to clear the border. With as many as eight horses crossing into the United States at any one time (and as often as two to five times a year), organizing the proper paperwork to do so can be a nightmare. If I do one thing wrong, or even if something as simple as white-out is used by one of our veterinarians on the documents, Clay and I may find ourselves spending unnecessary time at the border. That’s why I like to ensure the papers are as perfect as they can possibly be.
Global Vet Link (GVL) is currently only available in the US, but it could be something that would prove very beneficial to the Canadian public. GVL is a national multi-species web-based platform that connects all state animal health and regulatory officials with veterinarian subscribers. It has a growing national network of over 90 online animal diagnostic laboratories and its regulatory system facilitates use of all forms of animal ID entered by accredited veterinarians. These include; visual tags, digital photos, premises ID, electronic ID, and more. ID numbers are uploaded into the system from a spreadsheet or text file. Then, online connectivity and animal identification options, in addition to the use of digital photos on Coggins and health certificates, makes the GlobalVetLink system an efficient way to manage animal health paperwork.
For me, the GVL came in very handily when I was a whole state away from the veterinarian who originally did the health papers and Coggins tests on one of our horses destined for Canada last year. There was a small error (spelling mistake) on the first set of papers, so they had to be redone but it was very difficult for us to return with the horse and get an original signature from her. Therefore, she corrected the error on the Coggins, attached her e-signature and emailed us the correct Coggins papers just in time for our appointment to see a federal vet. The federal vet then approved our papers and we were on our way home to Canada. Had it not been for GVL, we would have had to factor a whole other day of traveling back to the state where the veterinarian was, before embarking on an already 3-day drive north.
Here is what a sample GVL Coggins certificate looks like:
Services offered by GVL include: Health certificates, Online Coggins certificates, diagnostic laboratory applications and electronic veterinary prescriptions, plus much more. Documents produced by GVL feature digital pictures (did I mention our horse’s Coggins came complete with actual photos of him?), creating an alternate form of identification when with your animal. Plus, no more dealing with illegible writing and veterinarians can store information online so details won’t have to be retyped year after year. GVL guarantees faster results because the papers are ready when they are completed, not when the paper is delivered.
Canada obviously has different restrictions and codes of practice for animal health paperwork, but can you imagine how much easier the task could be with just the click of a mouse? For more information, check out the following video: